Cecil's Open Road

CECIL SCHEIB

Director of Sustainability & Energy
NYU

“Get in the real world, learn to do something with your hands.”

INTERESTS:

Environment & Nature

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Choices Fulfillment Inspiration Perseverance Planning Goals

TAGS:

1997, change, community, different, eco-village, energy, freedom, full scholarship, fun, happy, impact, inspired, leave, let down, love, music, NYU, passion, Salt Lake City, youth

BIOGRAPHY:

Cecil Sheib was flying back to his home state of Maryland from college one day when he looked out the window of the airplane and saw the segmented plains of the Midwest. It was the first point in his life where he started to question the negative effects of humans on the environment. It was then and there that Cecil decided he needed to make an impact on the world environmentally. He then transferred to Stanford University and received a degree in civil engineering, focusing on environment and water studies. While at Stanford, Cecil also got a taste of sustainable living through being actively involved in a student co-op. He and a couple of his friends in the co-op talked a lot about building an ecovillage—a place where a community could live an eco-friendly lifestyle without laws that prevented them from doing so. In 1997, Cecil and his friends decided to make their dream of building an ecovillage a reality. They bought 280 acres of land in Northeast Missouri—a remote, rural location with abundant vegetation and natural terrain. They called their blossoming community Dancing Rabbit. Since its founding, Dancing Rabbit has more than 75 community members who live in houses made of strawbale and cob that run on renewable energy like sun and wind. Its community members also co-share vehicles and grow a lot of their own vegetation. But after nearly 15 years living in Dancing Rabbit, Cecil felt an urge to go out and do something a bit different. Cecil always wanted to live in New York City and when he got the opportunity to lead New York University's Sustainability and Energy Department, he jumped at the chance. Despite it being one of the toughest decisions Cecil ever made, he felt like he was ready to move on. While at NYU, Cecil received an EPA Clean Air Excellence Award for his efforts at the university, developed a plan to use left over heat from power plants, and created a program to donate students' end-of-year discards to charity.

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